Chester FC Youth 2 Warrington Town Youth 2 – Match Report
24th August 2011
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Chester FC Youth got their first competitive home game and indeed first North West Youth Alliance point on the board on Tuesday night when they drew 2 apiece with a strong Warrington side, watched by a decent sized crowd of approximately 100, and under the gaze of first team manager Neil Young.

Playing on a great surface on the West Cheshire league pitch at County Officers Club, the home side started the game brightly, with Carl Pleavin and Ryan Hedges on the wings giving the Wire a lot to think about. Hedges very almost put the Blues ahead after ten minutes, his perfectly flighted lob hitting the angle of post and bar.

With Joe Ormrod pulling the strings behind them, Pleavin broke free of the full back to see his shot parried on the half hour, only for the ball to evade the onrushing Reece Norton in the six yard box. Warrington started to press, and home keeper Mike Dixon made a stunning save to keep the scores level, diving away to his right to push away a top corner bound header. Warrington continued to press, and their influential central midfield number 8 curled a lovely 20 yarder past the despairing dive of Dixon for 1-0.

The young Blues rallied, and saw a long range effort from captain Jordan Grace deflected wide. The resulting corner saw Ryan Hedges curl a lovely ball to the far post, where Owen Crawford and Reece Norton were waiting. Centre forward Norton getting himself a first goal of the season with a header. It was no more than the lads deserved, and just before half time.

The second half saw Chester start well, and it wasn’t long before they went ahead. Great interplay between Hedges and Ormrod resulted in the visiting keeper making a great save, only for Carl Pleavin to pick up the loose ball and compose himself before smashing home. Local lad Carl was delighted with his goal, which his non-stop performance deserved.

The momentum of the game swung to the visitors following the goal, with their two excellent central midfielders proving a touch too strong at times for the Chester lads. They missed a couple of decent chances to score, and finally equalised with about 20 minutes to go. Their number 10 managed to shrug off the excellent Lewis Connelly for once, and put away a nice diving header to level things up at 2-2.

Chester brought on two Jack Roberts’s, and the flow of the game changed again. The busy Pleavin switched to centre forward, and ‘ginger’ Jack Roberts started to win tackle after tackle in the middle of the park. Connor Kendrick was also introduced on the left wing, and their work was very nearly rewarded on several occasions, more often than not denied by a linesman’s flag rather than defenders. Chester very nearly snatched it late on, when Roberts hit a lovely volley from 25 yards which beat the goalkeeper all ends up but unfortunately rebounded to safety off the bar.

This was an excellent point for the lads, with some very strong performances indeed. Centre backs Lewis Connelly and Liam Banks were solid throughout, defending some quality crosses and runs, and Joe Ormrod was a constant threat, but man of the match for me was the superb Carl Pleavin. His pace, coupled with a tenacity to chase every ball and his genuine goal threat, makes him good to watch. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of the same.


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Paul D

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